Buying a birthday gift for your girlfriend is hard, especially if it's a milestone birthday like her sweet 17th. You need something that fits into your budget, which rules out expensive jewellery and complex electronics. Giving her something from the heart, such as something you make yourself, is your best bet.
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Arrange a special dinner for her in the days before her birthday party or the days after, when she's not so busy with party planning. Treat her to something you make yourself, even if you have to get some help from your parents. The meal doesn't have to be fancy or complicated, but put some effort into the occasion. Even macaroni and cheese from a box looks nice when you serve it in glass dishes and use white linen tablecloths. If she's a more casual girl, then opt for hamburgers or steaks cooked on the grill. Lay down a red-and-white plaid blanket and have your own picnic at home. Mix the food you make yourself with a salad from the grocery store, chips and a miniature birthday cake.
Treat your girlfriend and her friends to a scavenger hunt across town. Hide clues at specific locations and give them one clue that leads them to the first location. At each stop, leave behind a small treat for all the girls, like a chocolate bar, small toy, make-up or party favour. Every time the group finds one location, they get a clue to the next one. Wait for her and her friends at the last stop, with a larger gift in hand. Give her a copy of her favourite movie, a stuffed animal or something else that reminds her of you. She'll be happy you got her friends involved.
Drive a chocolate-loving girlfriend crazy with a gift basket full of chocolate items. Mix and match inexpensive penny candies with candy bars and a few slightly expensive items, such as fancy chocolate candies or chocolate truffles. Add a few unexpected treats too, like a candy-scented body lotion or hot chocolate body wash. If she likes candy but isn't crazy about chocolate, then take the same idea and use different types of candy. Fill the basket with sour candies, hard candies, gummy bears and gumballs.
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